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Weekend Forecast for October 20-22, 2017

By Reagen Sulewski

October 20, 2017

The scariest movie you'll see this Halloween season.

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It's another shotgun approach to the weekend for studios as no fewer than five new releases of varying quality and venue count hit the screens, but still not any real hopes of breakout show their faces. We wait, patiently, for November to save us or at the very least, entertain us.

The slate is led, pitifully, by Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, the sequel to last October's surprise ... hit seems the wrong word here, but it made $73 million off of broad parodies of horror tropes and tut tutting about kids these days and approximately 50% of its dialog being “aw hell no.” In actuality, despite its ads, it was far far away from the Scary Movie clone it seemed to be, and really just a regular Madea movie that happens to occur at Halloween. Boo 2! is either pulling the same bait and switch, or is actually leaning into the supernatural if you believe the trailers, which feature a ghostly apparition and a chainsaw wielding maniac. Either way, expect more of the same, which I believe is the tagline on the poster for every Tyler Perry movie.

Not screened for critics, because why would you, just like every other Tyler Perry movie, it's about as review proof a movie as you can get. If the million other terrible reviews haven't killed this franchise by now, why would you expect it this time? Clearly, Lionsgate is counting on the legions of fans who turned last year's film into a $28 million opening weekend champ. There's often a serious case of diminishing returns when it comes to Perry covering *exactly* the same ground, but the thematic synergy should keep it solidly around $24 million this weekend.

Geostorm is the kind of monument porn that we all thought died out about five years ago but apparently is being single-handedly kept alive by Gerard Butler. He stars as a scientist who creates satellites that control the weather, thus solving global warming one fell swoop. All this while apparently managing a heavy drinking problem, or maybe that's just cause he looks like Gerard Butler. Cut to: several years later when unexplained and extreme weather disasters start happening again, and with a vengeance, basically destroying cities around the globe.

Time for a worldwide team to figure out the conspiracy behind it, and oh, also to see millions of people die from fires, floods, tornados, etc. In the film's favor, it does not appear to take itself all that seriously, looking like Armageddon for climate change, except with 20 years of knowledge about how dumb that era of tentpole film was. In some ways, the rise of things like Sharknado have helped to pound a couple of nails in the coffin of disaster porn, but then again, there's going to be a San Andreas 2. Everybody thinks they've got the magic formula for it.

Reviews of Geostorm are notably pretty bad, even with its self-awareness, and footage of it looks characteristically awful albeit with passable effects work. Butler continues to ride the fame of his long ago appearance in 300, and a big long string of unremarkable films since (other than some voice work). Structurally, this most resembles the Olympus/London Has Fallen movies, though with hopefully less xenophobia, you know, for a saving the world type movie. I'd look here for an opening weekend of around $16 million.

You could probably draw a line on a chart somewhere between Geostorm and Only the Brave, though the two films differ greatly in scope and execution. Technically a disaster film, it's covering the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a frontline group of firefighters in a wildfire crew. Miles Teller, in Part 1 of Miles Teller Tries To Not Look Like A Douchebag month, plays a young member of the crew attempting to make his hay, with Josh Brolin, James Badge Dale, and Taylor Kitsch playing other members of the (oh hell, it's basically in the marketing) ill-fated crew. Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly and Andie MacDowell round out the notable names in the film.




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Played very straight and earnest, it's an on-the-ground portrait of heroism but also taken as the matter-of-fact job that it is. Somewhat formulaic, it appears to be an exemplary version of the formula, filled with energy and personalities. Reviews are unusually positive for a genre of film that often doesn't have room to be excellent, but with the names attached and the relative obscurity of the incident involved, I don't see this becoming a breakout hit, and should open to about $12 million.

Also contrasting with the badness of Geostorm is The Snowman, a film that actually wanted to be really good, but looks ready to be one of the year's worst. Based on one of a series of Norwegian best-selling novels, it's an attempt to turn this into a “The Girl Who...” series, which will likely end right off the bat. Michael Fassbender stars as alcoholic detective Harry Hole (no... really), who is on the trail of a serial killer who leaves his victims in the shape of snowmen. I'm sure this sounded really good on paper, and maybe it loses a little something in translation.

The end product, however, looks entirely laughable and borders on self-parody. Things aren't helped by the fact that it apparently fires under even the low bar set by the footage and is incoherent and incompetently filmed, with acting performances that veer all over the place. Perhaps not since The Wicker Man has there be a star-powered thriller so ill conceived (and we can only hope for something as insane as that). Also starring Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons, Toby Jones and Val Kilmer in what is reportedly a completely bonkers and wasted role, and directed by Tomas Alfredsson, whose Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Let the Right One In have legions of fans, it's one of those inexplicable bombs that will be irredeemable with mass audiences. Its studio has already basically given up on it, with only 1,812 venues for its debut. Maybe a cult run is in its future, but that's well after it underwhelms in a big way this weekend with $7 million.

Opening in national release is Same Kind of Different As Me, based on an “inspirational” true story about an art dealer (Greg Kinnear) who takes a homeless man (Djimon Hounsou) under his wing in order to save his marriage, because his wife (Renee Zellweger) saw him in her dream and over the objections of Jon Voight, who may not have been told he was on the set of a movie. This seems to be Kinnear's career at this point, with his last significant movie being Heaven Is for Real (which in fairness was a modest hit). This compares more to the John Corbett-starring All Saints, which grossed in the single-digit million. Opening in about 1,300 venues, this looks on track for about $3 million this weekend.

Happy Death Day opened to a solid $26 million last weekend and enlarging Blumhouse's insane war chest that much more. As a teen-focused horror film, this weekend's drop should be impressive even with solid word-of-mouth, and we should see it fall down to about $11 million.

Blade Runner 2049 didn't impress in its second weekend, either, after what many called a disappointing start, and it's almost certainly headed for an under $100 million finish. Hey, it's not as if the original Blade Runner wasn't a bit of a flop, too. Give it about $8 million this frame. Meanwhile, The Foreigner, Jackie Chan's attempt to reinvent himself as a more serious action star, should follow up its $13 million start with about $6 million this weekend.


Forecast: Weekend of October 20-22, 2017
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween 2,388 New 24.5
2 Geostorm 3,246 New 15.7
3 Only the Brave 2,577 New 12.0
4 Happy Death Day 3,296 +147 11.4
5 Blade Runner 2049 3,203 -855 8.1
6 The Snowman 1,812 New 6.9
7 The Foreigner 2,515 New 6.2
8 It 2,560 -616 4.3
9 The Mountain Between Us 3,151 -101 4.0
10 American Made 2,548 -450 3.8

     


 
 

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